Tumut General Duties Police have been running Operation Sleight of Hand in the Tumut area for the past three days.
The operation targeted shoplifting in the Tumut area, with a focus on repeat offenders and affected retailers.
Business owners in Tumut reported last week that they perceive shoplifters to have grown more bold and brazen over the past year or so, with some offenders simply walking into stores and taking what they wanted without fear of being caught.
The officer in charge of Operation Sleight of Hand, Sergeant Constable Todd Chapman, said it is vital store owners and employees communicate effectively with police at all times to best target shoplifters.
“We take retail theft seriously and the impact this has on local businesses,” he said.
“We want to encourage information exchange between retailers and the police so we can take action against these pilferers. If you want people banned from your stores tell us and we’ll assist you. If you want it to stop tell your local cop!”
Operation Sleight of Hand involved both uniformed and plain clothes police officers saturating the CBD. They visited over 30 retailers, issued four banning notices to repeat offenders, charged one offender with multiple crimes, and issued three infringement/penalty notices.
Cootamundra Local Area Commander Chris Schilt, who is in charge of over 100 towns in the Southern Region, travelled to Tumut to be involved in the operation.
There was also an educational element to the activity – police collected information from retailers to assist them in further efforts, and offered support and crime prevention advice to businesses.
They focused on interacting with suspected offenders at every opportunity, communicating the message that shoplifting is taken seriously by police and that offenders should be aware that police know who they are and that they won’t get away with it.